By Sanni Onogu
The Senate on Tuesday approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for a refund of N148,141,969,161.24 to Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River, Osun and Ondo State Governments for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.
The approval followed the consideration of a report by the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, chaired by Senator Clifford Ordia (Edo Central).
Senator Ordia in his presentation stated that most of the Federal highways in the beneficiary states where projects were executed “were at a deplorable state before the intervention of the state governments.”
According to him, “series of visits were carried out by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing on all Federal Roads completed by the States and ascertained that the quality off work done met the required standard.”
The lawmaker however noted that states like Cross River, Rivers, Bayelsa and Ondo States embarked on the highway projects execution as far back as 2005 to date.
He added that while the State Governments have completed all projects, as well as paid all contractors, the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) on its part certified that due process was followed accordingly.
Meanwhile, the Senate on Tuesday confirmed the nomination of Barr. Benedict Umeano (Anambra – South East); Hon. Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonayinma (Edo – South South); and CP. Olayinka Babatunde Balogun (rtd) (Ogun – South West) as members of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
The confirmation of the nominees followed the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions led by Senator Patrick Ayo Akinyelure (Ondo Central).
In a related development, the upper chamber on Tuesday referred President Buhari’s request seeking the confirmation of nominees to the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission Tribunal to its Committee on Trade and Investment.
The nominees who are expected to appear for screening before the Committee include: Mrs. Sadatu Mama Shafi, Chairman (North Central); George Chukwuma Mbonu, member (South East); Barr. Thomas E. Okosun (South South); Umar Dauda Duhu (North East); Ibrahim El-Yakubu (North West); Mrs. Sola Salako Ajulo (South West); and Kenneth Tersoo Gyado (North Central).